US 7864744 B2
Disclosed is a method of dynamical frequency selecting for a basic service set established by a main wireless device in a wireless local area network. The method comprises steps of a determining step for determining whether a new channel to be used by said BSS is needed; a scanning step conducted by said main wireless device for scanning all channels based on a random priority to detect whether other adjacent BSSs are existing and performing DFS concurrently; a measuring step conducted by said main wireless device based on the scanning result for existing operational BSSs for measuring channel quality of a plurality of channels; selecting one channel based on the channel quality parameters. The present invention advantageously provides a dynamic frequency selection method without any modification for the IEEE 802.11 standard, or any requirement for the implementation of the wireless stations.
1. A method of dynamical frequency selecting (DFS) for a basic service set (BSS) established by a main wireless device in a wireless local area network (WLAN), the method comprising steps of:
scanning all channels by said main wireless device based on a random priority to detect whether other adjacent BSSs are existing and performing DFS concurrently so as to obtain a result for existing operational BSSs, and completed only when the priority of said main wireless device is the highest among all detected existing BSSs;
measuring channel quality of plurality of channels by said main wireless device based on the result for existing operational BSSs after completion of the scanning step;
selecting one channel based on the channel quality parameters.
2. The method as claimed in
3. The method as claimed in
4. The method as claimed in
switching said main wireless device to a predefined channel;
changing an original SSID of said main wireless device into a scanning operation SSID containing a priority identification which is randomly generated;
scanning all channels to detect whether other adjacent BSSs existing and performing DFS concurrently;
scanning the predefined channels to detect whether other adjacent BSSs existing and performing DFS concurrently; and
obtaining a list for existing operational BSSs after completion of the detection.
5. The method as claimed in
rescanning all channels and the predefined channel after the detected other adjacent BSSs complete DFS when the other main wireless devices is determined measuring channels or scanning channels in higher priority than that of said main wireless device.
6. The method as claimed in
reconfiguring the SSID for said main wireless device so as to generate a new scanning operation SSID containing a new random priority identification when any one of other main wireless devices for the detected other adjacent BSSs is determined scanning channels in a same priority;
rescanning all channels and the predefined channel to detect whether other adjacent BSSs existing and performing DFS concurrently when the reconfigured scanning operation SSID for said main wireless device is in the highest priority among all the detected BSSs.
7. The method as claimed in
8. The method as claimed in
9. The method as claimed in
10. The method as claimed in
This application claims the benefit, under 35 U.S.C. §119 of European Patent Application 05301113.6 filed Dec. 27, 2005.
The present invention relates to wireless communication, and more particularly to a method for dynamically selecting a communication channel for a basic service set (BSS) in a wireless local area network (WLAN).
The proliferation of laptops and hand-held portable computers has produced a concomitant need for robust, reliable and high performance wireless network to maximize the mobility advantages of these wireless devices and increase the ease of construction and management of the wireless networks.
The IEEE 802.11 standard specifies the media access control (MAC) and physical (PHY) layers for wireless local area networks (WLANs). Generally, there are two variants of WLANs: the infrastructure-based type and the ad-hoc type wireless network. In the infrastructure-based network, the communication typically takes place only between the wireless nodes called stations (STAs) and an access point (AP), thus the wireless nodes (STAs) can exchange data via the access point (AP). In the ad-hoc type network, the communication takes place directly between the wireless nodes (STAS) unlike the way of the former network.
The wireless nodes (STAS) within the same radio coverage are known as a basic service set (BSS) which may be established and identified by a main wireless device as a centralized decision maker. For example, in the infrastructure-based network an access point (AP) will establish a BSS according to the IEEE 802.11 standard, while in an ad-hoc type wireless network, a station identifying the BSS will take a role as the centralized decision maker for other stations joining the BSS.
When two adjacent BSSs are located close to each other and operate at the same or adjacent channel, which are referred to as overlapping BSSs, it is difficult to support the required quality-of-service (QoS) due to the possible mutual interference between the overlapping BSSs. In addition, other co-located systems near a particular access point may cause communication interference. It is not always possible to avoid interference by carefully planning channel allocations to BSSs before the WLAN deployment, especially in the home/office environment where other WLAN devices are operating independently in the vicinity.
Some dynamic frequency selection (DFS) schemes are known to be able to solve the problem and incorporate with IEEE 802.11 standard. In most of existing DFS schemes, the quality of each available channel is measured first by the stations and then report to the access point. The channel with least interference and best quality will be selected as a new channel for the BSS to switch into. In a known dynamic frequency selection mechanism, the operational channel of the WLAN is selected dynamically according to channel quality parameters of Received Signal Strength Indication (RSSI) and Clear Channel Assessment (CCA) busy periods obtained by the AP during channels measurement. However, since these known DFS schemes all rely on the communication between the stations and the access point, they introduce some changes to the current 802.11 specifications, which may bring to a compatibility problem between wireless devices of different manufacturers.
In addition, the conventional DFS schemes can not handle a case that a plurality of BSSs are automatically selecting channel concurrently, for example, when two APs are powered on simultaneously. The access points that are initiating channel selection concurrently will dirty the detecting result of existing operational BSSs and interfere with the decision of the selection of a new channel. In this case, the APs may select the same channel because they detect the same wireless environment.
Accordingly, there is a need for an improvement of dynamic frequency selection scheme which not only meets IEEE 802.11 standard, but also enables selecting of frequency channels appropriately even when a plurality of access points are automatically selecting channel concurrently.
The present invention is directed to a dynamical frequency selecting method in a wireless local area network (WLAN), wherein a basic service set (BSS) established by a main wireless device can automatically select channels from a plurality of channels according to the criteria determined by the main wireless device.
According to the present invention, the method of dynamical frequency selecting (DFS) comprises a determining step for determining whether a new channel to be used by said BSS is needed; a scanning step conducted by said main wireless device for scanning all channels based on a random priority to detect whether other adjacent BSSs are existing and performing DFS concurrently and completed only when the priority of said main wireless device is the highest among all detected existing BSSs; a measuring step conducted by said main wireless device for measuring channel quality of a plurality of channels based on the scanning result for existing operational BSSs; and a selecting step for selecting one channel based on the channel quality parameters including a received signal strength indication (RSSI) and clear channel assessment (CCA) busy period.
Advantageously the present invention realizes a dynamic frequency selection without introduce any modification to the IEEE 802.11 standard, or any requirement for the implementation of the wireless stations associated with the access points.
The scanning step of the DFS method in accordance with the present invention comprises sub-steps of switching said main wireless device to a predefined channel; changing an original SSID of said main wireless device into a scanning operation SSID containing a priority identification which is randomly generated; scanning all channels to detect whether other adjacent BSSs existing and performing DFS concurrently; scanning the predefined channels to detect whether other adjacent BSSs existing and performing DFS concurrently; and obtaining a list for existing operational BSSs after completion of the detection. Wherein said scanning operation SSID comprises two parts, a first part identifying the scanning operation status of said main wireless device, and a second part identifying a randomly generated priority of the scanning operation for said main wireless device. The measuring step of the DFS method in accordance with the present invention comprises sub-steps of changing said scanning operation SSID into a measuring operation SSID; and measuring channel quality parameters of a plurality of channels based on the result for existing operational BSSs.
Advantageously, the scanning step is able to detect whether some main wireless devices for relevant BSSs are scanning or measuring channel concurrently and to avoid that more than one main wireless devices selecting channel concurrently, therefore the co-located BSSs can be evenly distributed on different channels with the least interference, even when a plurality of access points are automatically performing DFS concurrently.
A more complete understanding of the method in accordance with the present invention may be illustrated by reference to the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein
In accordance with the present invention, a method for dynamically selecting a communication channel in the environment of wireless local area network is provided. With reference to
It should be appreciated that a preferred embodiment will be described in connection with the infrastructure-based IEEE 802.11 standard, and it is also suitable for use in the ad-hoc type IEEE 802.11 WLAN. However, it should be understood that reference to the IEEE 802.11 standard and its respective terminology is not intended to limited the scope of the present invention. In this regard, the present invention is suitably applicable to a wide variety of other wireless communication systems with utilize a plurality operation frequencies for data transmission. Moreover, it should be noted that the network shown in
Now with reference to
First, in initiating of the channel selection, a main wireless device (AP) will determine whether a new channel to be used by its associated BSS is needed. The automatic channel selection can be initiated if some particular events occur. For example, (1) the AP is powered on; (2) administrators manually make the AP to begin automatic channel selection; (3) the overlapping of BSSs occurs causing a channel interference; (4) detecting that other licensed operators cause a channel interference, (5) the AP is configured to automatically select channel periodically, and so on. If any of these events occurs, the AP may automatically select a new wireless link to operate its BSS. Some of these events need AP to know the status of the current wireless environment as well as the presence of other licensed operators. It should be noted that the initialization process is implementation specific and is well-known in the art.
1. Scanning Channels (Step 100 of
In order to select an optimal channel, the access point needs to detect the status of the wireless environment, for example, the existing operational basic service sets (BSSs). However, in some cases, a plurality of access points (APs) maybe initiate channel selection concurrently. The APs that are initiating channel selection concurrently will dirty the detecting result of existing operational BSSs and interfere with the decision of the selection of a new channel.
For example, with reference to
Hence, when one AP is automatically selecting channel, it must know which other APs are also automatically selecting channel and exclude those access points from the existing BSS list.
On the other hand, if more than one APs select channel concurrently, they maybe select the same channel in all probability since they detect the same existing BSS list and using the same channel selection method, which make the selection result to be unoptimizable. For example, suppose that AP1 detects AP2 on channel x and no APs on channel y, so AP1 selects channel y as the new channel. However, AP2 is automatically selecting channel, too, and it also selects channel y as the new channel since it find no APs on channel y. That is, after the channel selection, AP1 and AP2 operate on the same channel and suffer from serious interference with each other.
As a result, there must be a mechanism to detect which access points are selecting channel concurrently and to avoid that more than one access points scanning and obtaining existing operational BSSs concurrently. To achieve this, the present invention implements a special detection process by configuring and using operation SSID corresponding to the original SSID of the AP, which does not lead to any changes to the IEEE 802.11 standard.
In order to detect which access points are automatically selecting channel concurrently, the access point first changes its original SSID to an operation SSID and advertises this operation SSID in the wireless network. By detecting the operation SSID, each access point knows which BSSs are scanning channels or measuring channels. To avoid that more than one access points are measuring channels concurrently, the operation SSID contains the priority information so that only the access point with highest priority can scan and measure channels.
As description above, the operation SSID contains two parts, a first part with a predefined ID that identifies the access point is either in the status of scanning channels or measuring channels, and a second part with a randomly generated priority identification of this access point for scanning of channels. For example, an access point that is scanning channels can use “ScanSSID-832” as its scanning operation SSID, and an access point that is measuring channels can use “MeasureSSID-218” as its measuring operation SSID. Hereinto “ScanSSID-” is the predefined ID that denotes this access point is in scanning operation status, and “MeasureSSID-” is the predefined ID that denotes this access point is in the measuring operation status. The random digital numbers “832” and “218” denote the priorities. It's obvious that the priority is not necessarily limited to digital number.
Since the access point must change its SSID during the channel selection, preferably, the AP should save its original SSID before it begins scanning channels so that it can restore the SSID after completion of the automatic channel selection.
Now referring to
1.1 Switching to a Predefined Channel (Step 110 of
In the scanning channels phase, the access point should detects all existing BSSs and determine whether some other adjacent access points are automatically selecting channels concurrently. In order to assure that all access points implementing channel selection concurrently can be detected, preferably, these access points should switch to a predefined channel before they begin scanning channels. By this way, all access points perform automatic channel selection starting from the same predefined channel so that they can find each other easily.
1.2 Changing to the Scanning-SSID (Step 120 of
In order to let other adjacent access points know that the AP is scanning channels, the AP should change its original SSID to the so-called scanning operation SSID (i.e., the SSID contains the predefined ID that denotes this access point is scanning with a random priority identification). The scanning operation SSID may be alternatively advertised or not advertised in the wireless network. Therefore, when other access points are scanning channels concurrently, the scanning operation SSID of the AP enables other access point to recognize the scanning operation status of that AP.
1.3 Scanning Existing BSSs for all Channels (Step 130 of
First the AP will scanning existing BSSs for all channels including the predefined channel. Referring to
A number of primitive parameters for MLME-SCAN.request is defined as shown in
BSSType for indicating which type of BSSs to be scanned (here it should be any BSS);
BSSID for indicating which BSSs to be scanned (here it should be the broadcast BSSID);
SSID for indicating which service sets to be scanned (here it should be the broadcast SSID);
ScanType for indicating either active (the STA sends a probe frame and expects a response from a BSS) or passive (the STA simply listens to the channel, trying to detect some frames) scanning;
ProbeDelay for indicating the delay (in μs) to be used prior to transmitting a Probe frame during active scanning;
ChannelList for indicating a list of channels to be examined;
MinChannelTime for indicating the minimum time (in TU) to spend on each channel when scanning; and
MaxChannelTime for indicating the maximum time (in TU) to spend on each channel when scanning.
For example, the AP1 in
1.4 Scanning Existing BSSs for the Predefined Channel (Step 140 of
After finishing scanning existing BSSs for all channel, the AP will scan existing BSSs for the predefined channel once more. It may happen that when AP1 is scanning existing BSSs for all channels, after finishing scanning the predefined channel and begin scanning the next channel, AP2 initiates the automatic channel selection on the predefined channel with a higher priority than that of AP1. So AP1 will not detect AP2 and it begins measuring channel after it scans all the channels. When AP2 scans the predefined channel, it finds that AP1 is scanning channels with a lower priority. However, when AP2 finishes scanning all channels, it doesn't know AP1 has begun measuring channels. So AP2 begins measuring channels, too. Now AP1 and AP2 are measuring channels concurrently and they probably select the same channel.
In order to avoid the case described above, the access point should scan the predefined channel again when it finishes scanning all channels. Now AP1 will scan the predefined channel again after it finishes scanning all channels and will find AP2 has begun scanning channels with a higher priority. As a result, AP1 won't measure channels until AP2 finishes automatic channel selection.
1.5 Detecting Measuring-SSID (Step 150 of
When the access point scans channels and finds out a measuring operation SSID for an adjacent BSS, i.e., the SSID contains the predefined ID that denotes that access point for the detected BSS is measuring channels, then it could be known that another access point of the adjacent BSS is measuring channels. So the access point must wait and re-scan channels after the adjacent BSS finishing the DFS.
1.6 Detecting Scanning-SSID (Step 160 of
When the access point of the BSS scans channels and finds a scanning operation SSID for the adjacent BSS, i.e., the SSID contains the predefined ID that denotes this access point is scanning channels, then if it is determined that the adjacent BSS has the same or higher priority than that of said BSS, the access point must wait and re-scan channels after the adjacent BSS finishing the DFS. If it is determined that no adjacent BSS has the same or higher priority than that of said BSS, then the priority of said BSS is the highest among all the detected BSSs, and it is allowable to complete the scanning firstly.
1.7 Obtaining a Scanning Result for Existing Operation BSSs (Step 170 of
After finishing scanning all channels through the preceding processes, the access point for said BSS knows all existing neighboring BSSs. However, some of these BSSs may contain the access points that are scanning channels concurrently with a lower priority. The channel information of these BSSs is temporal and will be updated when they finish selecting channels. So, these BSSs scanning channels concurrently in a lower priority must be excluded from result for existing operational BSSs. This existing operational BSSs list is the base for measuring and selecting of frequency.
2. Measuring Channels (Step 200 of
After finishing scanning channels, the access point now obtains the existing operational BSSs list and knows that it can begin measuring channels based on this existing operational BSSs list. With reference to
2.1 Changing to the Measuring Operation SSID (Step 210 of
When the access point begins measuring channels, it first changes its SSID into measuring operation SSID and advertises it so that other access points can detect it and won't begin scanning channels until the current access point finishes channel selection. Alternatively, the AP may also not advertise its SSID in the network, but just let its SSID being detectable by the other APs for adjacent BSSs. Afterwards the AP performs a further analysis of the channel condition to select a channel. In particular, it is determined how strong the received signal is for each existing BSS and how busy the channel is for each supported channel.
2.2 Measuring RSSI of Each Existing BSSs (Step 220 of
In the embodiment, we use the strength of the received signal to indicate the interference level for each existing BSSs. The strength of the received signal is measured at step 220. The 802.11 PHYs define a parameter called Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI), which rages from 0 through the RSSI maximum. This parameter is measured by the PHY layer and indicates the energy level observed at the antenna that is used to receive the current PLCP Protocol Data Unit (PPDU). The RSSI is measured during the reception of the PLCP preamble.
2.3 Measuring CCA Busy for Each Channel (Step 230 of
Except for the measurement of interference by other BSSs, the measurement of noise by 802.11 non-compliant devices should also be performed. It's well known that if another device which follows different standards, for example, a Bluetooth standard, is running in the same channel as the AP, the communication between the AP and the associated STAs will be interfered. If there exists an interfering non-802.11 (or alien) device in a channel, the AP will not be able to receive the signals from the device correctly. However, if the signal power from the alien device is higher than a threshold (e.g., PHY MIB dot11EDThreshold for 802.11b or dot11T1Threshold for 802.1a), the channel is indicated as BUSY to the MAC layer via the PHY-CCA.indication (BUSY) parameter under the existing 802.11 PHY layer standard. Hence, a non-802.11 device running in a specific channel can be detected if the AP measures a time period when the channel stays busy, without receiving any meaningful MAC frames (indicated by PHY-RXSTART.indication and PHY-RXEND.indication).
As described above, the CCA busy means that the channel is not available since another device (either 802.11 or non-802.11) is using the channel. Hence, we can use the CCA busy fractional period out of the whole measurement duration to measure the interference level for each supported channels.
3. Selecting a New Channel (Step 300 of
It's obvious that the AP should select the optimal channel that has least interference from other devices (either 802.11 or non-802.11). For each channels, the RSSI and/or CCA busy fraction can be used to measure the interference level.
We know that two BSSs will interfere with each other if they use the same channel. In fact, since the energy of a channel will spread on adjacent channels, two BSSs on adjacent channels will interfere with each other as well. For example, in direct sequence spread spectrum (DSSS) system (802.11 DSSS PHY), adjacent BSSs using different channels may suffer from interference if the distance between the center frequencies is less than 22 MHz, namely, 5 channels. Hence, for each channel on which any BSSs are detected, the RSSI for adjacent channels are also calculated by the criteria implemented in the AP. It should be noted that the criteria to calculate RSSI of adjacent channels is implementation-dependent. Thus, various modifications readily apparent to those skilled in the art can be used.
After calculating RSSI for each channel, the AP may determine a specific channel with the least interference, not only to other BSSs but to other co-located wireless systems. How to measure the interference level by the RSSI and/or CCA busy fraction is implementation-dependent.
4. Switching to the Selected Channel (Step 400 of
After the AP has selected a channel that is optimal in the interference from other devices, it will switch to the selected channel by changing the carrier frequency. Finally, the AP should restore its original SSID if it has changed its SSID in step 100 (scanning channels) and step 200 (measuring channels) of
As it is apparent from the foregoing, the present invention has an advantage that many co-located access points may knows each other and intelligently select the optimal channels even when they initiate automatic channel selection concurrently. In addition, the present invention does not require any modification for the IEEE 802.11 standard and the implementation of wireless stations.
Having thus described a preferred embodiment of an automatic channel selection method for determining a channel for use within a WLAN system, it should be apparent to those skilled in the art that certain advantages of the system have been achieved. The foregoing is to be constructed as only being an illustrative embodiment of this invention. Persons skilled in the art can easily conceive of alternative arrangements providing functionality similar to this embodiment without any deviation from the fundamental principles or the scope of this invention.